Jeremy Saulnier's second directorial effort, the genre-straddling revenge film Blue Ruin, made a big impression at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. After you read these review highlights, you'll definitely want to catch a screening of the film at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, where it's being presented as part of the Vanguard Programme.
Screen Daily finds that Blue Ruin is "distinguished by the way it allies solid storytelling to fine craftsmanship," and praises Saulnier for taking "familiar ingredients" and "elevat[ing[ them into something more accomplished and appealing." Reviewer Allan Hunter adds that the film "confirms [Saulnier] as one of the more intriguing figures currently making their mark on American independent features
In Indiewire, Eric Kohn has a similar reaction, noting that Blue Ruin shows a degree of sophistication that unquestionably deepens [Jeremy Saulnier's] filmmaking cred" and mentions how it "displays an ongoing commitment to a mature visual style and an extreme emotional range."
Variety's Justin Change compares Blue Ruin favorably to Saulnier's 2007 debut Murder Party, remarking on Saulnier's "impressive progress" with "clean and efficient" filmmaking when "[c]arefully exploiting the audience’s fear of what it can’t (or can only partially) see."
At the International Cinephile Society, Marc van de Klashorst goes further, describing the way "Saulnier paces the film expertly to a boiling point, keeping the story lean and concise, and also demonstrating a good cinematographic eye" and stating that the film "shows a lot of promise for the still-young director."
Fred Topel at Crave Online has a visceral reaction to Blue Ruin, declaring that it's "the kind of movie I go to film festivals for. It’s totally unknown, a raw and powerful voice, and it just blew me away." Furthermore, he feels that it "addresses expository exchanges in a fresh way, and those revelations are both true to life and true about conventions of cinema."
Meanwhile, at The Hit List, William Goss is also impressed, determining that Blue Ruin "easily ranks among the best films playing at Cannes so far this year."
Twitchfilm's Brian Clark makes an even bolder claim: "I doubt we'll see a more deft, thrilling genre film this year [than Blue Ruin]."
With reviews like this, how could you not want to put Blue Ruin at the top of your list for this year's Festival?
BLUE RUIN Screening Times:
Monday, Sept 9th, 8:00 PM THE BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Wednesday, Sept 11th, 12:00 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 1